The British automotive manufacturer, based in Woking, Surrey, is best known for its supercars, which are produced in-house. Always on, or creating, the cutting-edge of technology and precision when it comes to speed and ingenuity since launching McLaren F1 in 1992, the company has built some of the most outlandish and creative supercars on the market.
While most believe the future of the automotive industry is in electric vehicles, in reality, the industry as a whole is far from making this reality ubiquitous. From investing tons of money in research and development, lower fuel prices, and other factors in the marketplace, the urge to buy electric, even a hybrid car, has waned recently. But in a recent report, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, Jens Ludmann, told Autocar that it’s not electric, but its synthetic fuel that they are looking into.
Also known as synfuel, synthetic fuel is a liquid fuel that is not derived from naturally occurring crude oil. Instead, it is combined (or synthesized) from petroleum or other fossil fuels. Ludmann told Autocar that the company plans to produce a development car that runs on synthetic fuel as it could be a viable alternative to electricity. Furthermore, this could lead to a lesser impact on the environment when you consider in totality the production of batteries for electric vehicles and that synthetic fuel could be immaculate, produced with solar energy even, and easily transported for refueling.
This isn’t meant to halt the technological advancements that electrical vehicles present; this is to shine the light on potential alternatives to gasoline-powered cars. Ludmann understands this is a huge hurdle to overcome – due to the advancement in electrical technology in vehicles as well as the availability of synthetic fuel on a larger scale – but McLaren wants to see the potential and viability of this alternative. Instead of re-working an existing or new vehicle, engines that make use of synfuel will need only small modifications and can provide emissions benefits, especially when combined with a hybrid powertrain.